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Newtownstewart playpark plans move a step closer

06 February 2020

Families in the Newtownstewart area will be delighted to hear that work is set to begin this month on a new £350,000 playpark providing a range of exciting equipment suitable for children of all ages and abilities.

The park will be located at a site adjacent to Mourne Park and Mourne Walk, and will be delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from funding allocated by Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The work will be undertaken by contractor TD McKane & Son and is set to begin this month with a view to reaching completion by autumn 2020.

The new facilities are aimed at promoting social interaction and physical activity among children and young people in the area. The equipment will include a multi-unit with towers, climbing nets and slides, a wheelchair accessible ground-flush roundabout, swings with adapted inclusive swing seats, toddler swings, basket swings, ziplines and much more.

Newtownstewart was identified by Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership as a strategic Village Renewal Project, with £202,865 in grant funding set aside for the new play park. The funding is part of the Rural Development Programme funded by DAERA, and identified through public consultation and the ‘Cluster Village Plan’. Council is also contributing £125k to the new facilities through its Play Development Programme.

Structural engineering consultancy firm Taylor & Boyd have been appointed to progress the scheme which Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, says will be an excellent facility for families and children in the town to visit and enjoy the outdoors.

“This is great news for the people of Newtownstewart and will bring significant benefits to the entire local community in terms of leisure and play provision,” she said.

“This exciting project is also reflective of Council’s ongoing commitment to support investment in parks and sports facilities throughout the City and District. The new development will also play a key role in promoting social interaction and physical activity among our children and young people.”

Mary Hunter, Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership said: “The allocation of this funding by the Partnership will help to create a brand new play resource for the children of Newtownstewart, providing them with a space to engage, interact and play. The project also contributes towards our core aims under the Village Renewal scheme to revitalise and bring vibrancy back into our rural communities enabling them to grow and prosper.”

Amanda McConomy, a local community representative from Newtownstewart, also welcomed news of the imminent works. “I’m delighted and really over the moon that works will be starting this month on the new play park,” she said.

“Importantly, these state-of-the-art facilities will provide a safe play area for local children of all ages and abilities to enjoy. I’ve also no doubts that the new park will act as a focal point for children to play and forge new friendships – whilst also ensuring they remain healthy and active!”